Paul Christensen Obituary: An Inspiration Of Highland High School

City of Salt Lake (Utah) On January 29, 2023, Paul Richard Christensen, afflicted with congestive heart failure, passed away at home with his loved ones by his side. At the time, he was 63 years old.

On October 7, 1959, Paul Drew Christensen entered the world as the first child of Richard Drew and Lynda Love Christensen in Salt Lake City, Utah. When he was a senior at Highland High School in 1977, he was elected H.A.M. secretary and named captain of the baseball and football teams. He participated in two varsity sports and was recognized as an All-State Athlete by the Deseret News for his exceptional skills and sportsmanship.

He played baseball for the Utes during his freshman year at Utah State University. After graduating from high school, he attended Westminster College on an academic scholarship and graduated with a BA in English Literature in 1984. In 1988, he graduated from the University of Puget Sound School of Law with a Juris Doctorate.

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After finishing basic training in the top 10% of his class, he enlisted in the Utah Air National Guard as a Forward Air Controller with the 106th Tactical Control Flight and was given the title of Honor Graduate.

From 1978 to 1980, he conducted a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he picked up Portuguese, a language he would speak for the rest of his life.

Paul and Sylvia Erbolato were married on December 16, 1983, in the Salt Lake Temple. Richard “Rocky” Oscar, Henry “Thor” Thor, and Greta Ann Ann are their children.

They relocated to St. George, Utah, where Paul served as both the Washington County Deputy Attorney and the Washington City Prosecutor, after the untimely loss of their son Rocky. Back in Salt Lake City in 2007, he first worked as a prosecutor for Summit County in Park City, Utah, before switching to private practice as a criminal defense attorney and eventually retiring.

Paul Christensen
Paul Christensen

P.C. was a well-respected lawyer whose career extended 25 years and during which she received numerous awards and honors. Those who were lucky enough to see him do his sacred craft as a prosecutor and defense trial attorney in the courtroom spoke highly of him.

He participated in the legal community by serving on the boards of the Washington County Children’s Justice Center and the DOVE Center in St. George, Utah, as well as the Utah State Bar, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Utah Trial Lawyers Association, and Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity. Before becoming president of the Southern Utah Bar Association in 1996, he taught at the Police Officer Standards and Training Academy.

He loved American history and the brave men and women who defend their nation, and this inspired him to become an avid reader with a clear preference for works from the twentieth century. He loved his wife and kids more than anything in the world, and his desire to learn was as insatiable.

Paul was a lifetime Democrat who regularly tuned in to NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service to hear programming that reflected his commitment to ideas like free speech and fair opportunity.

His laugh was contagious and instantly recognizable, and he was a natural communicator with a fantastic sense of humor. He had a wide range of interests, from Shakespeare and the movies to golf, football, baseball, the Kentucky Derby, and the Indianapolis 500.

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No grammatical mistake escaped his scrutiny, no logical fallacy escaped his correction, and he will remain a quiet judge of our grammar till the end of time.

His father R.D., brothers Tom, Dave, Chris, and son Rocky all passed away before Paul. His mother, Lynda Love, sister Jennifer Love (and her husband Brian), brother William Fredrick (and his wife Nanci), and niece and nephew Jason and Annie Jane are all left behind to mourn his passing.

Paul’s memorial service will be conducted at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, February 10, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.

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